Carb Cycling – What is it, and why it’s important to you.
Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap recently from the fitness industry and general public alike. Depending on your view point, they’re either the reason we’re fat, the cause of all disease, or the sweetest of nectars, more addictive than heroin.
So what’s really going on? Is there a middle ground, or do you need to remove all carbs forever.
You don’t get fat because you ate too many carbs. You get fat because you ate too much food and didn’t do enough exercise.
Now the overeating can be a result of carbohydrate intake, but we’ll dig into that in a few minutes.
What we’re going to talk about today is a few simple ideas;
– good carbs versus bad carbs
– when is a good time to eat them?
– how much should I be eating?
GOOD CARBS VERSUS BAD CARBS
50 years ago we never would have had to have this discussion. “Carbs” were things that came from trees or grew in the ground. They weren’t brightly colored packages and boxes of sugary cereal.
And then like most things in the 70s, it became Nixon’s fault. Since the 70s, obesity has doubled in the US (…and as a close approximation, world wide too). But we’re not exercising that much less. So what the hell is driving it?
In my opinion, it’s the quality of the foods we’re eating. Food, the processed kind, is so much easier to over consume than real natural food.
Imagine a plate of chicken and broccoli in front of you, and a chinese meal. The chinese has well over 3x the kcal’s (maybe 4-5x), and can be consumed in about half the time. It won’t keep you feeling full, and you’ll be hungry again almost immediately.
What do you do when hungry? You eat. And you eat and you eat and you eat. And you get fat. And because you’re eating food that doesn’t fill you, when you try to diet you get hungrier, and your will power runs out. And you eat. And you eat.
AND. YOU. EAT.
The result? You get fat, depressed and pissed off at yourself because you can’t do anything right no matter how hard you try right?
Well I’m here to tell you – THAT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.
Your body is responding to the foods you put into, no amount of will power can over come that. You want to make your life easier, start eating better quality carbohydrates – fibrous green veg, sweet potato, even some rice!!
WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO EAT THEM
Usually around workouts or periods of high activity – “earn your carbs” is one of the best ways of looking at it.
Enter… carb cycling.
Over the course of the week you might have 2 high carb days, 3 moderate carb days, and 2 no carb days. So on your 2 heaviest training days you’re overfilling your body, and allowing the compensation to happen on the back end on the moderate/no days.
That’s awesome because it means there’s days you can get away without being perfect. 2 days in the week actually.
Fot me, a “high carb” day during a body fat cutting phase would be 253g carbs. That’s an INSANELY high number. I struggle to even get near it. I could have a pizza and not get there.
…but that’s no excuse for eating crap food. It just means that if you do screw it up, it’s not the end of the world.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I BE EATING?
All the guys and gals in RevFit have got a spreadsheet I created outlining their high, medium, no days and a few of them have committed to really giving it a go. I’m super excited to see what happens when they eat more carbs than they have been, and still continue to lose weight.
That’s something MEGA IMPORTANT for the ladies especially.
As a general rule, here’s what a 90kg guy should be looking at (all in the protein/carb/fat & kcal format):
High Day – 253/253/89g & 2,827kcal
Moderate Day – 223/134/119g & 2,500kcal
No Day – 253/0/119g & 2,050kcal
And here’s a 75kg girl (again, all in the protein/carb/fat & kcal format):
High Day – 202/202/43g & 2,010kcal
Moderate Day – 174/87/73g & 1,692kcal
No Day – 202/0/72g & 1,461kcal
The other important things to remember is that long term restriction just leads to poor adherence – you WILL break eventually. Plus your training session will suck harder than an industrial hoover if your energy stores are not topped up.
This style of eating allows you to still enjoy A LOT of food and drop fat faster than Usain Bolt down a 100m strip of rubber.
If you want to learn a bit more about how this can be applied to you personally, make sure you submit a request for one of our free fat loss coaching calls below